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Howard County Sheriff’s Office offering to help area churches form a ‘safety plan’

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. – A central Indiana sheriff’s office is offering to help local churches make their services safer.

This Sunday will be the first Sunday since the deadly shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  26 people were killed when a gunman opened fire during service in First Baptist Church.

“When they come to church they’re not thinking security. They’re thinking I’ve come to worship,” John Murdoch, Chaplin, Howard County Sheriff’s Department.

In one of the most sacred places, one would like to think it’d also be one the safest.

“Unfortunately, in today’s environment we need to become more alert to what’s going on outside these walls,” explains Murdoch.

A while ago, a couple churches reached out to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office for help to form a security plan. After the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, officials are putting a call out to all churches.

“It is very important for us to try and do everything we can to assist our churches as they look at security and safety of their parishioners,” explains Jerry Asher, Chief Deputy with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department.

In order to put a security plan in place, officials look at everything from locks to lighting, even training the first face you see at the door.

“How to help your greeters think through and be looking with a fresh set of eyes of who is coming into my church. How to look at your facilities and ask yourself do I leave all my doors open during worship service,” explains Murdoch.

John Murdoch is the Chaplin with the Howard County Sheriff’s Office.  He’s gone through training specifically geared for church security.

“We’ve helped them look at some things through new sets of eyes that have been trained to think of things you don’t get in seminary

Law enforcement and local churches are taking every step, hoping and praying it prevents a tragedy,” explains Murdoch.

“You want to feel like you can worship without fear of any kind of problem,” explains Murdoch.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging any church in the county that is interested in coming up with a safety plan to give them a call.  The phone number for the Howard County Sheriff’s Office is 765.456.2020.